One man’s wing nut is another man’s trustworthy leader

Paul Chiasson/CP

Tom Mulcair is simultaneously cast as a wing nut and a trusted authority figure. Mulcair was roundly condemned over the weekend, largely on Twitter, for his conspiracy-laden assertion that the Supreme Court is unfairly dismissing the concerns of those who suggest former justices of the top court acted improperly during the Patriation Reference about three decades ago. Mulcair thinks the court should dig deeper for documents that shed light on the accusations raised in historian Frederic Bastien’s new book, La bataille de Londres. Emmett Macfarlane, writing on this site, suggests both Mulcair and the court overreacted to the accusations. Writing today in the National Post, Jonathan Kay labels the NDP leader as Canada’s conspiracy-theorist-in-chief. Kay, in more than a few words, laughs off Mulcair’s case against the court, dismissing his concern as something that matters only in Quebec.

But then you pick up this morning’s Toronto Star and give Chantal Hebert’s column a read. Hebert expresses doubt that Justin Trudeau’s rocketing popularity everywhere, including in Quebec, spells the end of Mulcair’s political career. In provincial polls, Mulcair scores well on leadership numbers, Hebert writes, and he was the only politician on Readers Digest‘s poll of Quebec’s 10 most trusted public figures. Trudeau, she points out, cracked the corresponding untrustworthy list. So, as far as Quebec is concerned, Mulcair’s doing just fine.

The NDP’s delicate dance between French and English Canadian interests and audiences and values has continued unabated since May 2, 2011. Earlier this year, the party’s proposed reforms to the Clarity Act sparked polarity. Over the weekend, it was Mulcair’s judgment of the Supreme Court that had pundits chirping. Mulcair’s dance continues.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a devastating wildcat strike at an Alberta prison. The National Post fronts the changing nature of gender and sexual orientation in professional sports. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with apparent federal and provincial non-oversight of a Mississauga company’s production of diluted chemotherapy drugs. The Ottawa Citizen leads with potential changes to the way parliamentarians approve government spending. iPolitics fronts the government’s proposed reforms to its temporary foreign workers leads with uncertainty about whether or not one of the accused Boston bombers ever met with a Toronto man in the Caucasus region. National Newswatch showcases a Tyee story featuring a poll that declared B.C. NDP Leader Adrian Dix the winner of the province’s all-party election debate.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Sex tourism. A 70-year-old Canadian man was detained in Cambodia and faces child prostitution charges. Police found Vigai Indra Komar with a 14-year-old girl in his hotel room. 2. War resister. Kimberly Rivera, a private in the U.S. Army who fled to Canada—and was deported—after serving a tour in Iraq, pleaded guilty to desertion at a court martial in the United States.
3. John Turner. Former Prime Minister John Turner is joining the parade of pro-Keystone XL politicians lobbying in Washington, D.C. Turner even hopes to meet with President Barack Obama. 4. International development. CIDA may have withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in dedicated foreign aid that simply went unspent by the time the last fiscal year came to an end.

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